Get On Your Boots, or Get Your Boots On as my wife and son like to call it, is one of those fun, bouncy, peppy kinds of songs that seem to show up at least once on every album. A couple of recent examples would be songs like Elevation or Fast Cars, songs that are usually singable, fairly fast, fairly fun, and moderately forgettable for the most part. Now, I give Elevation as an example, and that breaks the rule of forgettable, because everyone knows it and even now it is being sung on the current tour. Perhaps I would have done better just to stick with the album that Get On Your Boots came from, and add in I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight and Stand Up Comedy instead. Note that those three songs went together on the album, one after the other in the middle, and kind of lead to a weird center of the album, quite out of focus with the rest of it. But that’s a story for another day.
Fast drums, fast guitar to begin with, then Bono bounces in and we get just percussion. Guitar pops back and then everything kicks off. You’re jumping up and down listening to the song, I guess I’d call it party rock or something like that. The music seems to flip back and forth between those two extremes, very quiet (with a little bounce) while Bono is singing the verses, then taking off again when they go into the chorus. Not bad, like I said fun, but very much the feeling of filler while it is on. This would have been a good song to be on Pop, it would have fit in very well there.
And the lyrics? I get the feeling in Get On Your Boots that the lyrics are disjointed, not necessarily telling a story, or if they are, it’s one of those kinds of stories that flash in and out of focus, jumping here and there. Some of the lines seem to be in there much more for the rhyme than for the meaning. It’s because when you do try and put them together, even within a particular verse, there’s not much matching up happening. However, having said all that, there is actually a way to get them to come together, and that’s to know that Bono has said the song is set at a fair in France. Once you know that - and there’s no reason the casual listener should - you can start to see patterns within the song, whole sections that make some sense. But my point is more that most U2 songs don’t need that very specific visual idea to get the point of the song. Most of them are literate enough that you can get a meaning by yourself. In this case I think they somewhat fail at it.
And I don’t like the “let me in the sound” and “meet me in the sound” sections, they are very repetitive and if you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time you’ll have seen how repetitive I am at disliking repetitive lyrics. They just sound like they’re filling in time because the writer has nothing else to say. And we know how much Bono has to say, so that can’t be it.
My rating for Get On Your Boots: 5 / 10